Flooding turned downtown Houston into an underwater ghost town Friday as rescuers scrambled to save stranded drivers and those stuck in their homes following the wild, three-day downpour, according to reports.
Tropical Rainstorm Imelda slammed the city with at least 40 inches of rain in 72 hours — making it one of the wettest tropical cyclones in U.S. history, according to the National Weather Service.
A photo posted Friday by ABC21 reporter Louie Tran, shows nearly empty streets of downtown Houston buried under roughly 3 feet of flood water.
The storm, which made landfall Tuesday, left two people dead from drowning in Texas and hundreds of cars abandoned on freeways in the Houston area, according to USA Today.
In Harris County, where Houston is located, at least 1,700 high-water rescues and evacuations had been performed, according to the paper. At least 120 people took refuge in storm shelters.
By Friday, the downpour had slowed to a drizzle and floodwaters had begun receding, said the city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner.
On Thursday, a 19-year-old man drowned and was electrocuted while trying to move his horse in Jefferson County amid the storm, according to CNBC.
And a man in his 40s or 50s also drowned while driving a van through 8-foot-deep floodwaters near the Houston airport on Thursday afternoon, according to the outlet.
The storm also flooded parts of southwestern Louisiana.